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Some Early Cap Numbers


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Unfortunately Reynolds doesn't give everybody but does mention who's got bucks to burn and who is entering cap hell...


money quote:

As the salary cap multiplies, cap space has increased, but the rules of the game — read: agents are asking, and getting, far more up-front money on long-term contracts — have changed. Last season, only Minnesota had more than $20 million in cap space at the opening of free agency.

With the calendar flipping to February, the Seahawks ($29 million), Chargers ($25 million), Jaguars ($23 million) and Cardinals ($23 million) are all positioned to be heavy hitters in free agency. But Seattle, which has Pro Bowl-caliber talent abound to re-sign — including Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander and Walter Jones, plus starting RCB Ken Lucas and DLE Chike Okeafor — might not be in the picture come March.

No team is in worse salary-cap shape than Tennessee. The Titans, who also had over $100 million in contracts entering February 2003, have a total cap figure of $111 million today. With more than $25 million to cut, CB Samari Rolle and WR Derrick Mason are reportedly being considered as potential cap casualties. The Dolphins ($102 million), Falcons ($98.75 million), Buccaneers ($97 million), Chiefs ($92 million) and Packers ($88 million) all have work to do before executing a free-agency game plan.

Of the teams with room, Seattle and SD will burn up a lot of space on their own guys, IMHO. Jags and Cards could take a big step up. I have to think there's some guys on the Fins D I'd like to see in Cincy...

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Most likely candidate to get cut from Fins D based on team need to lower 2005 contracts by $16 mill is Patrick Surtain -- which would knock $5.8 mill off the top and a total of $8.4 mill if released after June 1 w/ $2.5 SB pro-rate deferred to 2006. Plus, the Fins gave a chunk to sign CB Reggie Howard from Panthers last year and have Will Poole in the mix.

Fiedler's dead in the water, which between him and Surtain lowers 2005 cap by $14 mill if Surtain is cut after June 1 and Fiedler cut before June 1.

Contract total excludes WLB Morlon Greenwood and SS Sammy Knight, who are both UFAs. So the Fins would have to proly draft or get minimal salaried players to fill some voids at those 2 positions but would be decent at CB, though definitely weakened by the loss of a CB as great as Surtain. Maybe they try to restructure Surtain but it seems unworkable under their cap restraint.

Seau's got to be gone too.


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